A COUNCILLOR has described his council’s changes to waste collections as ‘distinctly weird’.

Cherwell District Council is making changes to its food and garden waste collections from October.

The alteration will see the garden waste service charged at up to £40 per year, while food waste will be collected weekly, rather than fortnightly.

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Independent district councillor John Broad queried why council tax isn’t covering waste collection.

He said: “When I first heard about it, I thought it was distinctly weird.

“They’ve got to collect the food waste by law and that’ll be weekly, which is good.

“When it comes to the garden waste, I’m told we’re one of the last councils to do this, in terms of paying to have it collected.

“But you pay your council tax to have waste removed, so why are you paying for it again?

“I was talking to someone from another district and they’re paying £50.

“For garden waste, I think the council should be trying to encourage people to compost their waste, rather than the collection of the bins.”

Bicester Advertiser: Cherwell district councillor John Broad. Picture: Ed NixCherwell district councillor John Broad. Picture: Ed Nix

In terms of charging for garden waste collection, the council website states: “The collection of garden waste is a discretionary service, not a statutory service – one that the council is not obliged to provide.

“In light of the council’s overall financial position, we had the choice to charge for the service or possibly discontinue it completely.

“We felt that it would be fairer for residents to have the choice to pay for a service or not, rather than not having a service at all.”

The changes will see food waste collected separately to garden waste, with the brown bin to be used solely for garden waste.

From February, garden waste collections will be a paid-for, opt-in service.

The service will be charged at £36 per year, if signed up before February 1.

After that date, the licence will cost £40.

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A new silver outdoor caddy will be used for food waste, which will be collected weekly.

These caddies will be delivered between September and December.

The council reported that the new food waste service will start in October, and will take up to January to be fully implemented across the district.

The council hopes its overall recycling rate will move above 60 per cent as a result of the changes, making it one of the top 10 districts nationally.

Conservative councillor Richard Mould said: “The issue we have is that the Government wants weekly food waste collections, which will be an additional cost to the council.

“Most other councils charge for garden waste so it’s something established across the country.

“With food waste, we should see more recycled now, and hopefully an increase in garden waste recycling too.”